Balance Your Life with Yoga Sadhna: A Guest Post by Chinmay Yoga

I read this great article by Chinmay Yoga and I thought it would be interesting to repost. Enjoy!

Photo by  Alex Adams

Photo by Alex Adams

Describing the concept of Sadhana can be a little tricky as every person experiences it differently. However, one could define Sadhana as “a means to achieve the goal of life.” The “means” may include incorporating practices of Buddhism, Jainism or Sikhism in the routine or even the philosophy preached in these disciplines which will then help in changing the nature from human to divine. In order to achieve this transition, one must embrace things that are Satvik, like food, surroundings, thoughts and even conversations.




We tend to become a reflection of our thoughts. Our actions are led by our thoughts which then become a part of our routine in the form of a habit. The nature establishes itself in the subconscious mind first, then in actions. However, meditation can help in changing our subconscious mind, which in turn helps in changing our nature. Many people who have lived in ashrams or embraced a certain path of spirituality have thought of Sadhana at least once a day as a daily ritual and incorporated it as a daily practice. It has helped bring a clarity in what matters and what they expect out of their life. Through this practice, many people have unravelled their dharma and also have found the courage to walk the path that is led by it.




Though Sadhana may have a set of daily practices, its scope is much broader than that. It is also a practice that includes the application of awareness and insights during the daily routine. It surely helps when one has a set routine or a practice prescribed by an experienced instructor until one is able to understand the nuances themselves and is committed to the practice. Once the commitment to the practice is established, it is easy to understand what is going to work better in order to accomplish spiritual and material goals in life. Nevertheless, it is always advised to be totally well-versed with the set routine, practice for a minimum of three months to understand its benefits entirely and then modify it.




Sadhana, however, is not something that one does, but it is engaged with. It is more like a process. It will be more beneficial if you actually engage with it instead of doing it only for the sake of it or accomplishing something. One must be present fully to experience it perfectly while appreciating every moment. While it is possible to engage in Sadhana with a completely self-designed routine, it is advisable to seek help from an experienced teacher. Regardless, while in the process, it is important to appreciate every moment and experience it rather than focusing on the practice. This practice has transformed and changed many lives in various ways by doing yoga courses.



An example of the practice routine maybe as follows:



1. Waking up the body: After waking up early, wash the face and exercise, moving the body will awaken every muscle in the body, too.

2. Sync the movements of the body with the process of breathing: This helps in pumping more blood and following every movement with more energy. An exercise routine, like neck stretches, jumping jacks, rotating of the arms and body twists, while paying attention to the breathing, should be followed.

3. Engaging with self: Post the work out, walk up to a quiet and serene location and engage with yourself. Relax with the eyes closed and inhale deeply. Ask questions and pause, let the body answer instead of your mind. Once the distractions fade out, the mind clears itself and it gets easier to listen to the body. 4. Practicing Yoga along with meditation: Choose from the various asana of yoga and create a sequence. It is even more beneficial if meditation accompanies the practice of the asana. Once well-versed with this practice, one can realise their capacity to transform their lives.

5. Breathing and meditating: Once done with the sequence of yoga, it is ideal to sit quietly and meditate for a period of 10-15 minutes. Paying attention to the breathing and observing every moment without actively participating can help in focusing and being aware of the present. Sometimes, one may experience the state of profound wisdom when they are actually open to experiencing it.

6. Introspection: Reflect upon the practice and the observations made about the body and yourself. Think about the intentions and steps that can lead to manifestations. Think about the day ahead.

7. Make a commitment: Ask the body about how it wishes to be today and commit to the answer received.

Chinmay Yoga - BIO Chinmay Yoga is a Yoga School in India which conduct yoga teacher training in Dharamsala, Rishikesh and Gokarna. Chinmay Yoga works to spread yoga knowledge by provide free drop-in classes, conducting YTTC Courses in India (Yoga Alliance) for 799 USD with amazing homemade food, great accommodation with air conditioning and very knowledgeable yoga teachers from India. Chinmay Yoga also works for the nature and surroundings around it by planting trees and installing dustbins in the city.

Learn more about Chinmay Yoga:

www.chinmayyoga.com

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Author – BIO

Katherine Austin is a professional yoga teacher trainer with 10 years of experience in Yoga. She is certified yoga teacher trainer. She practiced in Hatha Yoga, Yin Yoga, Ashtanga Yoga, Surya Namaskar. Katherine has worked with Chinmay Yoga School for 6 years. She is one of the favourite teachers of Chinmay’s students. Katherine loves to travel, reading books, spend quality time with new people.

Yoga Nidra and the Trinity: Your Both/And Nature

Online Yoga Nidra Classes

About a year ago, I hosted a special evening of Yoga Nidra exploring the theme of the sacred trinity of Self. We gathered at a friend’s house and discussed the idea of expanding your consciousness to its fullest by understanding the concept of your own sacred trinity.

During this event, I recounted some Hindu stories about Shiva, Shakti, and their marriage and subsequent creation of Ganesh, the elephant-headed god. We talked about other symbols of the Trinity, like in Christianity, eastern and Pagan spiritual traditions, etc.

We discussed the practical elements of this concept like experiencing different cycles in your life of birth, life, death, and rebirth, for the opening up of your eyes to the beauty of life and being born anew as something else entirely. We even discussed the dark night of the soul that accompanies some deep experiences of awakening. I told several very personal stories that illustrated the concepts as well.

Photo by Scott Moore—Hindu Monastery Kauai

Photo by Scott Moore—Hindu Monastery Kauai

The discussion was interesting and heart-felt. I recorded the entire event and I’ve been re-listening to the recordings of this evening. Doing so has been very inspiring for me and has taught me so much more about the subject the second go around. I believe we often learn in cycles instead of linearly and each revolution around a lesson helps me to learn it better and deeper. Maybe this is why some lessons in my life feel like they are on repeat. Can you relate? Groundhog’s Day, anyone?!

Anyway, I really want to share these recordings with you so I’m offering them to you for free. Treat it kind of like a podcast with a Yoga Nidra practice attached. We even do some yoga poses together, so wear your stretchy pants. Keep in mind that in the discussion I mention some breathing exercises that we did but they ended up being pretty intense so I would feel better sharing those with you only with some in-person guidance therefore I did not include these. Click the button on top to listen to entire discussion (1h 32 min) then check out the Yoga Nidra practice which is like another 30 minutes. Invite your bestie over and make it a date. Better than Netflix!

I love this idea of the Trinity so much that I’ll be expanding upon this theme THIS WEEK in my live, online Yoga Nidra class. This is a new class happening every Sunday at 9 am MST. I’d love for you to join me. It's live but since it's online, you can do it from the comfort of your own home using your smartphone, tablet, or computer. I will also record each of these classes, both audio/video and audio only, so you can either catch the recording of class later if you can’t make the live version and/or keep the recording for your Yoga Nidra library for future use and for your own cyclical learning and personal evolution.

This past Sunday was the first of these classes and it went smashingly well! I am giddy with the outcome of this past class and can’t wait to do it again this week. Please join me. Class costs $12. Register and I'll send you the link to join the class on Sunday.

Photo by David Newkirk

Photo by David Newkirk

So many of you responded about the news of my book. Thank you, thank you, thank you! Your support really means so much to me. If you haven't already and have the mind to, please preorder my book from amazon. These early sales make a big difference to the success of any writer. I'm really proud of the book and I think you'll love it. I can't wait to share it with you. Click the picture of the book below to preorder your copy. Remember that if you send me a screenshot of your purchase, I’ll say thank you with a free online YN class that you can either access live, or get the recording after or both.

I'm in the process of making Yoga Nidra with Scott Moore Volume 1. I'll let you know when that's done. Plus, I’ve had some orders for private Yoga Nidra recordings so if you’d like me to make YOU your private Yoga Nidra recording based on something you’re working on in your life, or if you’d prefer to have a private live session online, please reach out to me at scott@scottmooreyoga.com to arrange a time.

Luxury Bordeaux Yoga Retreat

June 13–19, 2019. Just a few spots left!

Last but not least I’ve got just a few spots left for my luxury retreat in Bordeaux June 13–19, 2020. I’d really love to share France with you and do yoga and Yoga Nidra with you for 6 days, not to mention visiting some world-renowned vineyards for some wine tastings. The theme for these 6 days will be learning to savor your life with presence.


Synopsis of Yoga Nidra and the Trinity: Your Both/And Nature

Click the link at the top of this post to hear the entire discussion and Yoga Nidra practice.


History is replete with different forms of sacred trinities. How many different forms of the trinity can you think of? Off hand a few that come to mind are: body, mind, and spirit; earth, wind, and fire; Father, Son, and Holy Ghost, Brahma, Vishnu, Shiva; Shiva, Shakti, and Ganesh; Buddha, Sangha, Dharma; peanut butter, jelly, and bread . . . the list is eternal.

The concept of the Trinity speaks to understanding our True Nature. A singular object in the Universe is in isolation, adding a second creates a binary, but when you can understand or experience these in what I call their Both/And Nature, your eyes open up to experience a truer, more expanded concept of beingness. I believe this is what is meant by seeing with your 3rd eye. In fact, by expanding beyond the singularity or duality of your own nature brings you into the full knowing of your truest Self.

Stay with me…

We come from Source, that which is everything. We are born into a human experience and our conscious is one of simple singularity—everything that exists in this form of consciousness is what can see or feel and that’s all I know. Then an infant experiences the entire world as an extension of herself. Natural differentiation happens between 6–18 months old and suddenly a duality is created. Now, the consciousness experiences a “this” and “that” which exist as two separate things. Many of us will live the rest of our lives in this sense of duality. Many different philosophies, including Yoga Nidra philosophy—rooted in Tantra, a school of eastern thought—suggest that to truly understand the essence of the Universe and ultimately your own essence, you must see beyond this dualist thinking into an expanded view, that of the Both/And nature, the trinity.

The Hindu god Ganesh is a perfect example of a trinity: He is the child of Shakti who represents form, and Shiva who represents consciousness. Half spirit, half physical being, he exists as something entirely new and completely necessary than his parents. It’s only through creating this new thing, that the trinity is born and through it all things can come into being. Otherwise all things in the Universe would have been locked into a state of duality or simple singularity. But as the symbol of Ganesh suggests, the entire world opens up to something bigger and more expansive thanks to the marriage of two things and the creation of another. Many people celebrate Ganesh for his hybrid nature which lends itself to great compassion, understanding, and direction.

Both/And Nature and the Trinity

Many practices such as yoga, meditation, and Yoga Nidra, expand the practitioner’s consciousness beyond a binary and help them to come to know themselves as part of a larger Singularity, Source, built as the Both/And consciousness. Through a lifetime (or lifetimes, I don’t know) of practice you might come back to experience yourself as Singularity, but not in any innocent way like the infant but rather one of wisdom and expansiveness. You are now birthed as a new being. This is what it means to open to the sacred trinity within you to reveal your True Nature.

Exploring the Trinity with Yoga Nidra

My favorite way to explore, and even better to experience, this unity of the Trinity, and allow it to open our consciousness into a unity of all things, is through Yoga Nidra. Yoga Nidra is a form of relaxing guided meditation, or guided awareness, where the practitioner is lead through deepening layers of awareness to come to know themselves as Awareness itself. One does this through practicing recognizing then letting go of objects of the ego, like the body, energy, mind, thoughts, etc.


Online Yoga Nidra: The Practice That Makes You Whole

Yoga Nidra Training

More than a decade ago, I took a Yoga Nidra training. If you’ve never done it, Yoga Nidra acts like a guided meditation where you lay down, become very relaxed, and listen to a facilitator guide you through deepening layers of Awareness. During my training, though I hadn’t done very much Yoga Nidra at all, I nonetheless experienced a session that led me through one of the most profound experiences of my life. It was cosmic. It was expansive. It was healing. It was pure happiness. The effect was like someone pulling back the curtain in Oz to reveal... ME. The TRUE me.

This was one of the experiences that told me that I’d be practicing, studying, and teaching Yoga Nidra for the rest of my life. Yoga Nidra has become a veritable passion of mine.

One of the things I love about Yoga Nidra is that you don’t need to “earn” you way to having a profound experience. Not that a dedicated practice of Yoga Nidra or any discipline isn’t very beneficial. It’s just that Yoga Nidra, maybe even on your first session ever, has the power to to remind you, by way of first-hand experience, of who you are.

Online Yoga Nidra Training

Like it says over the gates at the Oracle of Delphi, “KNOW THYSELF.” Yoga Nidra acts like an oracle who tells you who you really are, whispers to you your destiny. Knowing who you are makes you whole. It puts you into a right perspective of your world, your problems, and your priorities. It shows you your heart’s gift to the world.

Yoga Nidra is an ancient practice that has found a renaissance today. It’s just as relevant today as it was thousands of years ago because no matter when you live on this planet, one of humanity’s biggest problems has always been the simple but pervasive misapprehension that you are anything other than what you came from. In other words, Yoga Nidra’s superpower is to show you by direct experience that what you are is Source—call that whatever you want, a child of the Universe, a child of God, a child of Krusty The Clown—whatever.
With this sure knowledge of your True Being, you see your purpose and your life with immense clarity, beauty, and gratitude. With this sure knowledge, your entire life feels different. You don’t react to problems in the same way. You see a connectedness in everything. You begin to see everything as love.

And while not every person emerges from every Yoga Nidra session with a “hallelujah” on their lips, it’s nonetheless quite often a profound experience.

Yoga is defined classically as the “yoking” of all things to Oneness. Nidra literally means sleep but Yoga Nidra is more about waking up to your True Self than it is falling into a stupor. Nidra more appropriately means that hypnagogic state between dreaming and consciousness. When you are led into this relaxed state, you open yourself into a keener state of Awareness. Indeed you arrive to a place of deeply relaxed Awareness, the natural state of your True Self. In this state you can gain clarity, and find peace. You can heal physically, spiritually, mentally. Yoga Nidra is one practice that can help you feel yourself as Source, and as Source there’s nothing you can’t do, be, or love.


I’ve seen hundreds of people receive profound benefits from Yoga Nidra. Most of the time when I conduct a Yoga Nidra class, instead of telling students the benefits of Yoga Nidra, I ask those who have done it in the past to share what they’ve experienced by practicing it. My students have told me that Yoga Nidra has helped them with:

Scott Moore Yoga
  • Stress

  • Sleep

  • Productivity

  • Relaxation

  • Anger

  • High blood pressure

  • Depression

  • Creativity

  • Spirituality (whatever denomination or non-denomination you are)

  • Performance

  • Confidence

  • Self-worth

  • Trauma

  • Happiness

  • Love

  • Forgiveness

So how does it work? How does lying down, getting relaxed, and listening to someone talk you through a meditation help you achieve these things? In Yoga Nidra, you practice heightened Awareness. This aligns you with your True Self because according to its ancient philosophy, at the end of the day, what you are is Awareness. Yoga Nidra differs from other forms of meditation in part because of its emphasis to identify the practitioner as Awareness itself. It can work these wonderful benefits through your life because when you experience yourself as Source, there’s nothing you lack. You can know that you are whole. Whole is another way of saying healed.

Practicing Yoga Nidra is easy. You simply lie down, become relaxed, and listen to a facilitator lead you into deepening layers of Awareness. It sounds crazy but it still works even if you fall asleep. The part of you that I’m speaking to in a Yoga Nidra meditation is still paying attention, even if your waking mind is sleeping. You don’t need to have ever practiced yoga or meditation to practice Yoga Nidra.

While practicing it is easy, teaching it effectively can be quite complicated. That’s why I’ve spent the last decade learning to teach this practice well, and have taught thousands of hours of Yoga Nidra in the process. I’ve even created an Online Yoga Nidra Teacher Training that has trained people around the world to teach this practice in their own voice to benefit the lives of their students.

One thing that my students have asked for regularly is to curate a Yoga Nidra experience that focuses on a particular benefit, like stress, forgiveness, or sleep. I’ve taught many private sessions to individuals where we go into depth on a personal issue and use Yoga Nidra to help them find their own solace, calm, and peace. Yoga Nidra helps people heal themselves.

With the idea that there are many people who need something particular from a Yoga Nidra experience, I’ve decided to create a volume of Yoga Nidra recordings that can be accessed anytime. These recordings will vary in length from 15–35 minutes, and will be curated around an intent or goal. One session for managing anxiety, another to manage anger, another to practice compassion, etc.

This will be a volume of around 15 Yoga Nidra recordings that can be downloaded to a phone, computer, or tablet. It will also come with a nice and neat booklet that gives information and helpful tips on getting the most out of your Yoga Nidra practice, and some supplemental breathing and mindfulness practices.


I’m currently building this project and I’m taking suggestions for subjects. If there’s a Yoga Nidra practice you’d like to have access to regularly, please let me know what you want. Say you want a Yoga Nidra practice to help you relax at the end of the day. Maybe you want a Yoga Nidra practice to help you have focus and clarity at the beginning of the day. Maybe you work with insomnia and would love something to help you sleep better. I’m open to suggestions, so please let me know what you’d like.

I’m also going to start holding a regular, live Yoga Nidra class online at the same time each week. This is open to anyone, no matter where you live in the world, and will start with each person registering for each class as a drop-in. Class will cost $12. This online Yoga Nidra class will be starting Sunday, November 3rd at 9 am MST. You can do this class from the comfort of your own home, wherever you live in the world. Each class will have a brief discussion about Yoga Nidra, will be centered on a theme, and will include some mindfulness and breathwork practices. There will be a 30–40 minute Yoga Nidra practice with each online session. The entire session will last 60–75 minutes. These live sessions will give you the chance to share your experiences with Yoga Nidra with others and ask any questions.

I will be recording these classes so if you love the topic of the class but can’t make it, you can still register and have the recording after. Everyone who purchases the class will have access to the recording.

Also, if you think you could benefit from a private, one-one-one Yoga Nidra session with me, we can arrange a live, virtual session. Or maybe you have a very specific need for a Yoga Nidra recording. I can make you your own personal Yoga Nidra recording tailored to meet your specific needs.

If you love Yoga Nidra or are interested in any of these offerings please:

Email me at scott@scottmooreyoga.com and let me know if there’s a practice you’d like to see on this first volume of recordings.

Register for the live Yoga Nidra class on Sunday, November 3rd at 9:00 am MST

Contact me to book your own private Yoga Nidra session.




Fill out this form to request your own private Yoga Nidra recording tailored to your specific needs ($100)

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Please enjoy this Free Yoga Nidra recording I made about connecting to the heart. This is powerful





Nice to Be Back: A Return Trip from Hell

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Photo by  Alex Adams

Photo by Alex Adams

I’m sitting at a park in Nice having just arrived home on Wednesday after the a return trip from hell.


I left for Salt Lake City airport at 8:30 am Monday morning and didn’t arrive in Nice for another 42 hours. I had 4 legs of the journey (I know, the added price of a cheap airline ticket is the pain-in-the-ass tax) My second leg was delayed significantly—I had to hang at Oakland International for 12 hours! From Oakland I flew to Stockholm and was able to catch an earlier flight toward my next connection in Copenhagen in the stretched out saga to get back to my loves in Nice but but the airline had scheduled me to land and catch my next flight with only 15 minutes to get from one gate to the next and the gate was all the way across to the other side of the airport. I landed in Copenhagen, rushed off the plane and sprinted like an airport olympian. I made it to the gate in record time but nonetheless got there right as the plane was scheduled to part. They’d closed the boarding and even though the plane was sitting there, staring at me smugly through the window, they wouldn’t let me board. Then, to add insult to injury, they said that the next flight to Nice wasn’t until the following day and that I’d have to spend the night in Copenhagen. Then, if this weren’t bad enough, they didn’t know where my bag was so I had to go to the hotel without a change of clothes or my toothbrush.



And as I was walking through the Copenhagen airport, tired and cranky, I reminded myself over and over the essential lesson I learned from Lionel Richie which is, “I don’t need to have an opinion about this. It’s all just information. I’ll just make the situation worse by complaining about it. Just do whatever you need to in order to get to the hotel.” Once I got the the airline fix-it desk, they had a hotel voucher for waiting for me, they had arranged a taxi ride both to the hotel and back to the airport for me, and had given me a meal voucher. When I got to the hotel I was pleased that it was lovely and before long, I was relaxing in a nice, quiet, and comfortable room having showered and lounging in bed with room service and Netflix. I thought to myself, I’d rather be snuggling with my loves in Nice but I gotta say, as a consolation, this really isn’t bad. I turned off the lights and sank into an incredibly soft bed in a wonderfully quiet room.



The change of timezones caused me to wake up at 4 am feeling rested and alert and I enjoyed the quiet of the morning with a very centering 30-minute meditation. I’m in the middle of my 30-day meditation challenge and I’m loving the ritual of a daily meditation. After another shower, coffee, and breakfast, I decided to go on a walk through Copenhagen before I took a taxi back to the airport. I immediately fell in love with Copenhagen. The early-autumn morning was cool and crisp having rained much of the night before. To me it looked like everyone had just walked out of the European equivalent of an Eddie Bower magazine. And one of the things that struck me was the bike lanes teaming with cyclists on their way to work. People were friendly and polite and my walk completely set my mood for my final flight back to Nice.



Despite rush hour traffic, I got the airport in plenty of time. The Copenhagen airport has got to be the friendliest, cleanest, most modern and civilized airports in the world. Have you been there? The security lines were quick, automated, and efficient and the personnel were all smiles and courtesy, a stark contrast to the TSA in the Oakland airport who barked orders at the long lines of doe-eyed travelers. After going through security, which was decidedly a pleasant experience, I had plenty of time to wander around the airport. This airport was lovely! If I lived in Copenhagen, I would almost want to buy an airplane ticket somewhere just so I could have an excuse to hang out at the airport, it was that nice.



I got on my last flight without issue and landed in Nice. It was so great to get back. Funny how even though I’ve only lived in Nice for 8 months it felt so much like coming home when I saw that beautiful coastline and azure waters out of the airplane window. As I stepped off the plane, I was met with warm and slightly humid air and I took a fat breath in followed by a sigh of relief. They had found my bag and I was grateful for that. I jumped on the tram and it made for a very easily trip to our apartment. Seneca and Elio met me at the tram stop and as soon as I stepped off Elio saw me at ran, jumped in my arms and held on tight and didn’t let go for several minutes. We had a lovely 3-way hug for a long wile, reuniting and kissing and loving each other. I’d been gone for almost 5 weeks, waaay too long, and it was such a beautiful reunion.



We changed apartments since I left for the states and Sen and Elio took me back to our new digs and showed me around. It’s small and quaint but works great for our family. It’s in a part of town we love and we’re quite happy there.



The weather is lovely in Nice, in the mid-70s and sunny. Sen made us a lovely lunch of salad and lentil soup and after we strolled down to the beach and sat on a straw mat as we opened a bottle of Rosé. Then Elio stripped down to his unds and I rolled up my pants as we waded into the surf and I threw rocks into the ocean.



It’s so nice to be back with my loves. I love France!

Online Yoga Nidra Teacher Training



It’s great to be back and I also loved being in the States! I really loved teaching all the classes, workshops, trainings and retreats. I really had a marvelous time. This adventure in France has been really wonderful and has given me an opportunity to focus on my writing. I spent a good part of the summer on a writing project that I’ll let you know about soon. I can’t say much about it yet but I recently sent my final edits off to a publisher so if it all goes as planned, I’ll have a big announcement by the end of the year. So that’s thrilling. More about that later . . .



I taught a yoga retreat with my dear friend Kim in Tuscany this summer and have been teaching a few classes at a studio in Nice but have been spending most of my working time writing and supporting my online offerings like my Online Yoga Nidra Teacher Training. So it was nice to come back to the states and do a lot of teaching. It was really great to connect with friends and students and it was great to be reminded that my teaching makes a difference to people. I can’t tell you what that means to me. Thank you, thank you, thank you.


So, now that I’m back in France, what’s next for me . . .


Luxury Yoga Retreat at a Bordeaux Château

Well, if you haven’t heard already, I’m hoping that you’ll join me for my next big European yoga retreat in June of 2020. I’ve always wanted to host a yoga retreat at a Chateau in France. I lived in Bordeaux for 2 years more than 20 years ago, that’s how I learned to speak French. I absolutely adore this region and I’ve always thought that it would be such an adventure to revisit and host a yoga retreat. So, I researched online and found THE PERFECT place and this spring, Sen, Elio, and I drove out there to see for ourselves if it was as good as it looked online. And it was like 10x better than it looked online. This place has been owned by the same family for more than 400 years and was sold to the current owners about 20 years ago who renovated it, keeping its natural splendor but updating it, sprucing it up, and adding a few essentials like a beautiful indoor yoga room as well as an outdoor yoga deck. Oh, and an incredible swimming pool outdoors. This place has an incredible history including underground tunnels which were used to hide people in the 100 years war as well as allied spies in WWII. I’m billing this yoga retreat as a “luxury” yoga retreat. You’ve got to see the bedrooms in this place, each one looks like it should be a suite in the most expensive French hotel ever. The pictures are absolutely amazing and rest assured that they don’t do this place justice.

France Yoga Retreat
France Yoga Retreat
France Yoga Retreat
France Yoga Retreat
France Yoga Retreat
France Yoga Retreat
Bardouly Platform 1.jpg
France Yoga Retreat
France Yoga Retreat


So, at this retreat we’re going to spend 6 days together doing all-levels yoga, breath work, meditation and Yoga Nidra and also enjoying ourselves as we lounge around the pool, take French cooking classes, and if you want to, biking around and exploring the vineyards and countryside. We are going to take a day-excursion to one of Bordeaux’s most notable vineyards, the world-class Saint-Émilion. We’ll also have a sommelier come in to the chateau for our own private wine tasting. I find that wine pairs very well with Yoga.

The theme for this retreat will be learning to savor your life with presence. The idea is that without presence even a life-changing retreat in France will go unnoticed. With presence, everything in your life is a miracle. Many of the spots are sold already but I still have some left. Don’t worry about the time off work, I spoke to your boss and they said that it’s fine to have the time off. Also, this retreat is set up really well for you if you wanted to bring a friend, spouse, or partner. Maybe you’re celebrating an anniversary, or a special birthday, or just want a mindful and delicious vacation your favorite person ever. Plan on this joining me. If your special person doesn’t do yoga, no worries. They can come and enjoy all of the OTHER, amazing things in this area.


This retreat is going down during the best week of the year to be in France— it’ll be from June 13–19 of 2020.


AND, since I love France and have come to love Paris so much, I’m also offering a Prelude in Paris, it’s a three-day pre-treat al personally guided walking tour through some of my favorite places in Paris. I’ll personally walk you around and show you some of my favorite neighborhoods, some of the lesser-known but fascinating corners of that incredible city, as well as some of the best museums, quaint cafes, and best shopping spots in perhaps the most romantic city in the world. Then, when that’s done, we can take a short flight or train ride from Paris down to Bordeaux for the Chateau retreat.

France Yoga Retreat
France Yoga Retreat
France Yoga Retreat


Even though this is going to be a luxury retreat, I’ve still priced this to be affordable. I’ve got a few spots left and I’d love to have you join me. Please go to scottmooreyoga.com, under Courses, Retreats, and Events, go to Bordeaux Yoga Retreat, and make your deposit for this adventure. This will certainly be epic and I want you to come so do what you need to do to make this happen.

New Online Yoga Nidra Teacher Training

Online Yoga Nidra Teacher Training

Also, I wanted to tell you that the last few days that I was in Salt Lake City, I connected with my friend and filmmaker, Natalie Cass to film a new Online Yoga Nidra teacher training. A while ago I launched an online Yoga Nidra teacher training and I’ve been immensely pleased by all the responses I’ve received. I’m thrilled that people from all over the world are discovering this training and using it to learn how to teach what I feel is one of the most fascinating practices EVER in a way that trains people to deliver this practice uniquely and with their own voice.


I’m always looking for ways to make my offerings better and better so I thought I’d take the time to take this Online Yoga Nidra teacher training to the next level. I just barely filmed it and I’m looking forward to the editing process. I am organizing this training to be more comprehensive, more accessible, and frankly, more beautiful.



This training will be a multi-media experience that gives you a ton of information about the in-depth philosophy behind Yoga Nidra as well as how to teach it effectively. There will be easily digestible videos, a full Yoga Nidra library, PDFs, handouts, stories, chants, links, and other stuff to give you an excellent Yoga Nidra education. By the end of the training, you’ll get a certificate of completion and you’ll have all the tools and experience necessary to teach Yoga Nidra with your own voice. It even counts as continuing education hours with Yoga Alliance. If you’re interested in learning more about Yoga Nidra check it out. Plus, if you register for my existing training which is already amazing, as soon as the new training is done, you’ll get the second one FOR. FREE.

New Yoga Nidra Course Coming…


Also, If you’re interested in how Yoga Nidra can benefit your every-day life but not necessarily interested in teaching it, I’ll be offering a new Yoga Nidra course next month so stay tuned for that, it’s going to be amazing.




Global Story Jam

So, I’m a storyteller at heart and whenever I’m in Salt Lake City, I love to attend a storytelling event called the Bee. On several occasions I’ve told stories there, along with several other storytellers, in front of hundreds of people and I did so recently just before leaving Salt Lake CityI had such a blast doing it. The Bee archives many of the stories so if you ever want to hear some of those stories I’ve told you can click the link here.


Anyway, several months ago, I hosted what’s called a Speakeasy, where I invited a bunch of people to get together at a friend’s house and we all brought drinks and food to share and I spent the evening telling some truly heart-felt stories. We cried and laughed together and had a very special evening and by the end of the evening I felt very close to everyone.



I’d love to do another storytelling event but this time with a different twist. This time I’d like to invite you to tell the stories. I’m calling it Global Story Jam. My vision is to have a global storytelling event where everyone who wants to can share a story based on the theme: Shocked. It’ll be a live, virtual storytelling experience and it’s going to be incredible. What we’ll do is log on to zoom all across the world at the same time and everyone who wants to tell a story will submit their names to be selected randomly. I’ll announce names in real-time and that person can tell their stories. Everyone will get 5 minutes to tell a story. It’s going to be so much fun! This will be Saturday, October 12th at 10 am to 12 pm MST (you can do the math for whichever time zone you live in).


200-Hr. Yoga Teacher Training Certification

Another project I’ve been working on this summer is to get approved to be a registered yoga school with Yoga Alliance. I’ve created curriculum for universities which was a piece of cake compared to the effort of getting my curriculum approved for Yoga Alliance. Anyway, if you’d like to study with me and earn your 200-hr Yoga Alliance teacher certification, let me know. I’d like to start a program around the beginning of the year. I’d like to gauge interest on this so give me a shout out if you would like to do something like this.



Yoga Teacher Mentor Program

Scott Moore Yoga

If you’re already a yoga teacher and would like to up-level your teaching with a private teacher mentor program I’ve also got one or two spots open. Maybe you need to gain confidence as a teacher and get some personalized feedback about your teaching. Maybe you’d like to learn how to conduct workshops, masterclasses, and retreats. Maybe you need help getting you yoga teaching business up to speed. I’ve mentored many teachers who’ve been interested in improving their teaching. If you’re interested we’ll chat and see if we are a right fit for each other. Then, what I’ll have you do is take a strengths test to illuminate to us both how you operate best. Then we figure out your long-term and short-term goals and from there we set up regular appointments where my job is to give you information and encouragement and accountability as you steadily work toward those goals. My goal is to have this mentorship pay for itself right away as the result of your improved teaching and teaching opportunities that result from this mentorship and of course have this new information surge you forward in your career. Often times, what I’ve found is that existing teachers don’t need another training to know more, they need a mentorship with someone who’s doing what they’d like to be doing. If that speaks to you, please let me know. I’d love to work with you and help you shape your own teaching. I believe that you have unique gifts that allow you to teach people in only the way that you can. Let’s work together to get your voice heard.

There are more things I’d love to tell you about but they’ll have to wait.

Thanks for listening. Thanks for all of your love. Thanks as always for pickin’ up what I’m puttin’ down.







Whatever You Believe In, Practice It Every Day.

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So, you may have heard me tell this story before but several years ago, I was leading myself through a deep Yoga Nidra meditation. My aim for this meditation was to channel the wise person that resides within my own heart to see what kind of message my own inner wise person would give me. I got very relaxed and went deep. Really deep.

30-day Meditation Challenge

I tried to think of the wisest person I knew immediately an image of one of my favorite professors from college jumped into my mind. In this vision, completely of my own imagination, I was sitting in his office and asking him for some guidance. In my mind, I could see the tawny grain of the wood of his desk. I could hear the soft buzz of the fluorescent lights above muted slightly by the plaintive squeak of his office chair as leaned back to think to survey the ceiling. He stroked his beard as he thought about what to say to me. Then, he looked at me slyly with a sideways glance and said something I’ll never forget. He said, “Whatever you believe in, practice it every day,” and then simply nodded.

“Whatever you believe in, practice it every day!” That revelation hit me like a ton of Norton Anthology of Poetry books. It was my own inner-wisdom reminding me of the importance of a daily practice

30-Day Meditation Challenge

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If the wise person inside of you also values a daily practice, if meditation is something you believe in or are at least curious about, and if you want to explore what happens when you make meditation a daily practice, I invite you to register for my 30-Day Meditation challenge. It begins September 1st and runs for 30 days. It’s going to be fun and easy. All you do is meditate for 15 minutes a day, every day for 30 days. You’ll start to notice right away how you become more mindful, more calm, less provoked, and less reactive. Everyone you live with and work with will wonder what has happened to you.

Once you register for the challenge, you’ll start to receive emails that will support you with information, guidance, and encouragement about making meditation a regular practice for the month of September. You can do this challenge wherever you live in the world. You can meditate at any time of day that works best for you, and choose any style of meditation that suits you. I’ll give you several options that you can choose from if you’re newer to meditation

This costs $30 and if you complete all 30 days you can even have the option to receive your tuition back.

Tell your friends that you’ll be doing this to help keep you accountable and even invite them to join you because there’s nothing like mindfulness to bind a friendship together.

This thing starts Sunday, September 1st so sign up now and start your meditation practice now.

If you’re in NYC, I’ll be coming to town the first week of September and offering two amazing workshops. The first will be a Yoga Nidra for Happiness workshop at Pure Yoga West on Wednesday, September 4th from 6:30–9 pm. We will explore through poses, discussion, and Yoga Nidra the happiness that exists always within you despite events and circumstances. I’m really excited to offering a workshop at my old studio and hope you join me if you live in NYC. Also, I’ll be co-hosting a Yoga Nidra and Freeing breathwork workshop with an amazing teacher Tiffany Curren at Nirvana Yoga and Wellness in Wayne, New Jersey the next day on Thursday, September 5th from 6:30–9 pm. I’m really excited to work with Tiffany and this will be an incredible offering. If you live in the area, I’d love to see you at one or both of these events. I’m not sure when I’ll be back to this area.

Thanks for considering all of these offerings. Please forward this email by pressing the share link either below in the email or the Facebook share and like button near the top of the page if you’re listening to this email via my blog.

Hey, thanks again for being you and everything you do

And most of all, thanks for pickin’ up what I’m puttin’ down.


My Heart Was Full

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Yoga Nidra

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Yoga Nidra is better than drugs. If you don’t know, it’s a guided meditation where you lie down and get extremely relaxed, and drift into that in-between state of consciousness to actually become very aware. As you listen to me lead you through the practice, you gain a beautiful and broad perspective about life, problems, and the simple joy of being awake to the beauties of this world. I’ve been studying and practicing Yoga Nidra for over a decade and anymore when I do Yoga Nidra I am led through the very same process of keen awareness as I am facilitating for my students.

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So, one evening when I lived in New York, I had just finished a particularly beautiful and heart opening Yoga Nidra practice. I was teaching at Pure Yoga in Manhattan and as I was walking down Amsterdam Avenue to go and catch the red line back home to Brooklyn. And because of this Yoga Nidra practice that I’d just taught and simultaneously experienced, my entire being felt an absolute surge of well-being and love— I was absolutely brimming with joy. At that moment, it felt as if my eyes suddenly had a super-human focus, like I could see more than 77 blocks down Amsterdam Ave, all the way to the Hudson and that they could see every detail, from the birds landing on the light posts to the dirt in the gutter and all of it felt somehow like an expression of love. I floated down the street with a smile on my face feeling like nothing could ever be so perfect. As I passed people on the street, everyone from the homeless guy to the stressed out business guy, it felt like I could feel into everyone’s heart and could feel everyone’s inherent goodness. Experiences like this are not rare in Yoga Nidra and they are one of the simple reasons that I love this practice so much.

My Heart Was Full


It reminds me of a story that one of my favorite profs in college told me. His name was Leslie Norris and he was an old, wise, and brilliant poet. He knew the Romantic poets so well he could talk about them like they were his neighbors. By the way, if you’re curious what an English major does for a living, this is it. So, in this real-life story, poet William Wordsworth is feeling a lot of pressure from his guardians. His parents have died, as he is emerging into adulthood, he will soon be in charge of taking care of himself and his sister. All he wants to do in life is to write poetry but that doesn’t pay the bills so he’s receiving a lot of pressure to join the clergy instead. Well, one morning he’s walking home in the early twilight through the hills and grasslands near the sea. The landscape is blowing his mind, totally gorgeous, and his senses are completely alive. He’s about ready to burst from joy. And in that moment of intense beauty he gets a revelation from the powers that be that poetry was what he is meant to do in life. He clearly understood that the Universe was telling him loud and clear that poetry was his path. And from that moment forward never looked back. He went on to be, well, William Wordsworth, the Michael Jordan of the Romantic poets. The poem goes like this, it’s from his magnum opus The Prelude.

Leslie Norris

Leslie Norris

Magnificent

William Wordsworth

The morning was, a memorable pomp,

More glorious than I ever had beheld.

The sea was laughing at a distance; all

The solid mountains were as bright as clouds,

Grain-tinctured, drenched in empyrean light;

And in the meadows and the lower grounds

Was all sweetness of a common dawn –

Dews, vapours, and the melody of birds,

And labourers going forth into the fields.

Ah, need I say, dear friend, that to the brim

My heart was full? I made no vows, but vows

Were then made for me: bond unknown to me

Was given, that I should be – else sinning greatly –

A dedicated spirit. On I walked

In blessedness, which even yet remains.



Expert from Prelude by William Wordsworth


All that to say, that on that day after teaching Yoga Nidra, as I was walking down Amsterdam Ave totally brimming with life’s fullness, I had a Wordsworth moment. I felt that this practice of sharing Yoga Nidra with the world is the way in which the Universe has blessed me to feel Universal love and the way in which I get to share it back to the Universe and that it was a responsibility to share it lest I be “sinning greatly.”

Yoga Nidra Training

So I have the privilege, and frankly the responsibility, to share Yoga Nidra. It’s totally my jam and I love it. I’ll be sharing it tonight at a Yoga Nidra class at 21st Yoga and for those who want to really go deep, I’m so thrilled to be spending 20 hours teaching Yoga Nidra in a teacher training/immersion—This. Weekend.

Yoga Nidra Teacher Training

About the training, if you’re a yoga teacher, awesome—Yoga Nidra is an essential tool to add to your teaching tool belt. If you’re just interested in the practice, there’s no better way to understand it than diving deep. If you’re a parent, teacher, or therapist, this could be an essential tool to help you help the people you are privileged to guide and nurture. The last time I did this training someone joined so they could learn to help their therapy clients better deal with stress. Someone else joined because they wanted to lower the teen-suicide rates in their school district. Another person joined because she was a family law attorney and wanted something to help her clients meet the challenge of divorce as mindfully as possible.

So how does it work, how does this relaxing guided meditation have such a powerful effect on people? It’s so powerful because this practice very skillfully leads you experience your True Nature, the part of you that feels wholeness and Universal love. When you are in conversation with the part of you that is fundamentally whole, everything heals.


This weekend is going to be life-changing. I’m not over selling this. There will be a lot of Yoga Nidra practice, chances to practice teaching to each other. You’ll learn how to lead yourself through this practice. You’ll receive a really solid PDF manual with Yoga Nidra scripts that you can start using on day 1 and which will serve as a foundation from which you can learn to personalize and build your own practices. Also, I’m offering this either virtually or in-person if you’re in Salt Lake City. People from all over the world will be joining us. I’ll be recording the entire thing, both audio and video, so if the timing doesn’t work you can always watch it later. This recording will also give you an incredible Yoga Nidra library.


I really hope you can make it this weekend. Regardless, I’d love to offer this Yoga Nidra practice as a chance to experience Yoga Nidra’s power to open your heart, cuz hey all the love songs are right and all you need is love.

So as I’m wrapping this up, I want to let you know that Aug. 29–Sept.1 I’m hosting a Writing + Yoga + Nature Retreat in Harriman State Park with the one and only Nan Seymour. We’ve invited special guest, poet Maya Stein to blow our socks off with her incredible poetry. We are going to explore what happens when we open to deep awareness through Yoga Nidra and then put pen to paper and see what comes out. This is the 4th year we’ve done it and it’s been amazing every year. We have only 1 spot left and we’d love for that spot to be filled by you.

 
30-day meditation challenge

There’s no better way to practice Yoga Nidra or any other form of mindfulness than with my 30-Day Meditation challenge. It’s happening the entire month of September. The challenge is to simply meditate every day for 15 minutes or more using this great app called Insight Timer. All month I’ll be sending you instructions and encouragement. The challenge costs $30 and if you complete the challenge you can choose to either receive a full refund of your tuition or roll that into other cool meditation products that I have.

No matter what you do or don’t do with mindfulness, I just want to say thank you for picking up what I’m puttin’ down. I love doing this and it’s so nice to be on this journey with you.

May the Source be with you.

Namaste.

Please Listen to this heart-centered Yoga Nidra practice


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Kauai Yoga

Human Doing vs. Human Being

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Your identity is your foundation of existence. Too often we tend to identify with things that don’t support the truth of what we are, our beingness. Too often we get caught up as human doings rather than human beings. Too often we equate our value on what we can do rather than the fact that we simply are. 

Scott Moore Yoga

 

Tantra is a school of eastern thought. One of the many facets to Tantra is its emphasis on non-dualism or all things belonging to a larger whole. When you can expand your Awareness from being either this or that, you tap into what I call your Both And Nature. This Both And Nature speaks to your higher beingness and embraces all the elements of you for optimal expression. 

 

Ironically, the person who doesn’t know their Both And Nature, identifies only as body or with their actions, equates their existence with only what they can do. Ability and doing is by nature volatile and changeable so their sense of identity lacks a real foundation. This lack of existential foundation invariably affects performance because each act becomes a desperate grope for identity when there’s none to be had merely by performing an action. 

 

During my career, I’ve taught yoga and meditation to dozens of world-class athletes and performers. Often when these performers retire, still quite young, they sometimes go into an existential crisis if their entire identity was wrapped up in solely what they could do. Now that they can no longer perform at the level they felt defined them, they have no idea who they are. 

 

By contrast, the person who is identified as a Being rather than a doer knows their Both And Nature and can act invincibly from that place because they realize that they and each of their actions are an expression of their Being, of Source. The person connected to their Being through practices like the Yoga Nidra, graduate from a level of merely doing an action to Being it. 

 

Yoga Nidra is a form of Tantric guided meditation that is both relaxing and very useful to reinforce your sense of your own Being. The aim in Yoga Nidra is to disidentify from anything in the realm of the changeable, like body or thoughts, and learn to identify as Awareness itself. Typically, a Yoga Nidra session will last anywhere from 15–40 minutes where you simply lie down, close your eyes, and listen to a facilitator (or recording) lead you through paying attention to things like your body, your breath, energy, thoughts, etc. This process leads you deeper and deeper both into relaxation as well as into Awareness. 

 

Since it’s also true that while you cannot identify solely as body, your body is an important (though changeable) part of who you are. It also exists as one of the greatest tools you possess to open yourself to the experience of Awareness. As you learn to inhabit your body with deeper Awareness, you tune into your Both And Nature and from that place of embodied Awareness, you can go out and perform at your best. 

 

Click here to hear a free Yoga Nidra recording and experience for yourself the transformative of your own Both And Nature.


Guided Meditations for Sleep

 

Be The Shit

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“What does the mighty oak care if the warthog scratches its rump against its bark?

“What does the mighty oak care if the warthog scratches its rump against its bark?

Right before I moved from Salt Lake City, I had my last session with a wonderful private client, and friend. She began our session with a comment about how difficult she found it to be around people who are constantly bragging about who they are or what they own. This comment sparked a wonderful discussion and subsequent Yoga Nidra practice dedicated to the differences between a human being and a human doing. We discussed the idea of aiming to be so secure in our being that we didn’t need to try to prove anything to anyone else. We could just be.

I said to her, “When you’re The Shit, you don’t have to go around town bragging about it. You just go be The Shit.”

It reminds me of something I heard poet and writer David Whyte say, “Constantly explaining who you are is a gospel of despair.” Why does it seem that when we are the least secure in who we are, we tend to brag about ourselves the most? Probably because when we equate our value based on what we can do rather than a sure sense of our own beingness, we’re constantly trying to affirm something that really doesn’t exist. By contrast, we as human beings are valuable simply because we exist. We don’t need to prove anything because we simply are. If we're identified as something as fragile as our action or a title, then we're constantly fearing not being that thing anymore, we fear annihilation.

It’s also true that when we can be secure in our own being, other people don’t ruffle our feathers. The best antidote in response to the braggart is to be so solid in our own beingness that another person could say or do whatever they wish and it wouldn’t bend us one way or the other. Like the fantastic German quote, “What does the mighty oak care if the warthog scratches its rump against its bark?”

This is what we are doing in our yoga and meditation practices: we are affirming our beingness, and steeling ourselves against anything that could arise in our lives by simply learning to pay attention, to have Awareness. Here’s the kicker: our beingness is somehow wrapped around our ability to pay attention to the world, to listen and be. Not to do. The doing comes as the response to the being. The ancient teaching says that consciousness precedes form.

That day, my client and I had a great session. I led her through a personalized Yoga Nidra practice that helped her to feel solid in her own being to go out and be the mighty oak so that others could say or do whatever and she didn’t have to worry about it one way or the other. I recorded the practice and left it with her so she could continue to practice this concept.

After the session, as I was rushing out to go home and pack for France, I was half-way out the door, when I heard her shout after me, “Hey Scott!” I turned back to see her with a wide smile on her face. “Be The Shit,” she said as wise parting advice.

So, may I also extend this invitation to you: Be The Shit.

Mantras and Visualizations: Meditations that Sting Like A Bee

“Float like a butterfly. Sting like a bee.”

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This was Muhammad Ali’s mantra. Perhaps yoga and mindfulness isn’t often associated with Muhammad Ali, yoga's first principle of non-harming and all that, but he was someone who was particularly adroit in his use of the yogic principle of mantra and visualization. His iconic mantra has become synonymous with a champion. What is the power of mantra and visualization and how can they be used to mold reality like they did for Muhammad Ali, and how can we use these tools to achieve our dreams?




Writing the Script on Reality

Although his mantra practically became his sonic name tag, it wasn’t just a pithy phrase he liked to throw around because it was catchy; it wasn’t his slogan or his attempt at branding himself. Maybe few understood that Ali’s mantra was his access point into his deep inner-source that believed he would be the boxing heavyweight champion of the world. Saying it over and over again was his craft, the practice of helping the logical part of his mind both believe and expect this belief to become reality.

In addition to using his mantra, Muhammad Ali visualized over and over his fight with Sonny Liston where he would win the heavyweight championship. He saw himself win the title thousands of times in his head before ever stepping into the ring. By the time he stepped into the ring, all that was left to do was the final step, the physical practice of what he already knew was true. And Muhammad Ali isn't alone. It was like he theatre of life—he knew the script and on opening night he simply needed to go on stage and perform the play.

It reminds me of a story in the Hindu scripture, The Bhagavad Gita, where the God-turned-mortal Krishna is instructing the warrior prince Arjuna about his duty to fight in an epic battle. At Arjuna’s reluctance, Krishna pulls him aside and informs him that truth and time is not so linear and that the battle has already been fought and won. Knowing this, Krishna told Arujuna that the important thing is that he must go out there and fulfill his dharma, his destiny. Similar to what Ali told himself through visualization and mantra, Krishna told Arjuna to tap into the source of belief of what was already true.

Thought Precedes Form

Many psychologists and neuroscientists will affirm that despite our trust in it, our mind isn’t necessarily the best preceptor of reality; it’s readily subject to prejudice, interpretations, and misapprehension. In yoga philosophy the name for this misapprehension is Avidya, the opposite of clear seeing. Like modern brain science suggests, two people might see the same facts and both have wildly different beliefs about translating those facts. They might even debate what is real. Thus our mind is subject to our own personal beliefs and prejudices. Our mind creates a "reality" from a dizzying array of options suggested by our perceptions, interpretations, and desires. This subjectivity tugs at the very fabric the notion of reality.

Yoga suggests that since our beliefs are so powerful in contributing to our reality, we can use things like mantras and visualization to help us create our reality, perhaps like Muhammad Ali and Arjuna, a reality that somehow in our hearts what we know is already true. We have a bigger part to play in creating our reality than we think. Mantra and visualizations can help.

Beliefs change all the time. One minute you believe in the Tooth Fairy and the next you don’t. In Vedanta, a school of yogic philosophy, the sheath or layer of our being that negotiates beliefs, both conscious and subconscious, is called the Vignana Mayakosha. Yeah, it’s a crazy name this part of our being is perhaps more powerful than we sometimes give it credit.

Dr. Bruce Lipton, an internationally recognized biologist and author who works to bridge science and spirit, says that 95% of our decision making comes from our subconscious. If we can learn to source and even manipulate our subconscious, there's no telling what power we might have over our own world. Visualizations and mantra are two very effective and powerful ways of shaping our world. Muhammad Ali powerfully demonstrated his ability mold his reality of being the heavyweight champion of the world using mantra and visualization.

The Power of Words

Words are powerful. Religious texts like The Bible even says that “In the beginning was the Word . . . and the Word was God.” In the Hindu scripture, The Yoga Sutras, the principle of Satya or truth is the second highest principle behind non-harming because of the power of words. For longer than recorded history, magic, mythic, and religious traditions have regarded certain words, whether vocalized or thought, as both sacred and powerful. I heard one of my yoga teachers, Judeth Lasater, say, “What is worrying but praying for what you don’t want.” Thus is the power of thoughts and words.

So put words to the test. I invite you to choose those words that, like Muhammad Ali, like Arjuna, will manifest your sacred destiny. And I invite you to find a way of reciting them to manifest their power in your life. Maybe you know already your mantra, what words you need to evoke for you to live into your true destiny. Perhaps words like: Power, Clarity, Forgiveness, Strength, etc. Maybe you need to discover what your mantra is.

I invite you to do a meditation in order to distill your clarity on which words are right for you. This meditation doesn’t have to come by spending months in the desert in deep contemplation. Rather, maybe 10 minutes concentrating on clearly answering a few questions for yourself. You’ll know it when it comes. Maybe it will take a few days of meditating for a few minutes each day.

Here’s the mantra-finding process: First, ask yourself what has been reoccurring in your life recently as a theme that you need to pay attention to. Another way to answer this question is to think about what ways the Universe is asking you to grow right now—what challenges are presenting themselves to you now, asking you to grow? Next, don’t allow your thinking mind to take over, here, but rather let the answer to this next question be instinct, the first thing that comes to mind: What does your heart know is your purpose for this world? Distill the answer to these questions down to a phrase or maybe even one word (don’t worry, you can change it if you need to, you don’t have to marry that word for life) but allow yourself to use that word or phrase as your powerful catalyst forward to what you already believe about yourself.

mala beads.jpg

Then, if you’re inclined, grab a mala (you can get these at any crystal and incese, dragon and rainbows shop). They are beaded necklaces with 108 beads on them. The Mala’s will usually have a tassel on them representing the beginning and the end. Hold the mala on the first bead between your right thumb and middle finger, just beyond the tassel. In your mind or aloud, repeat your word or phrase then move to the next bead. Do this over and over again until you come to the end of the mala. If it’s short and you’d like a longer meditation, turn the mala around and repeat the mantra going the other way on the mala until you come back to the tassel. After your meditation watch to see how you see the world differently and how you live into the beliefs that you bring to your mind through mantra.

In addition to discovering your mantra, create a visualization where you see yourself perform what you'd like to arrive for yourself over and over. Remember to use all of your senses and think about it happening in the moment, instead of dreaming for a future. The part of our brain and the part of our consciousness that we are accessing only understand now. Spend a few minutes in visualization to see yourself succeed and just like Muhammad Ali, become the champion of your world.

If you're interested in a free relaxing Beach Paradise visualization, enter your information below.

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Meditations on Happiness

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Meditations on Happiness

We all just want to be happy. We all search to be happier. We are all scouring for clues to solve that mystery as to why we aren’t fully satisfied in life? So we turn to things like yoga and meditation to help solve the happiness mystery. Surely yoga and meditation will help us to be happy, right? Yes they will but maybe not how we think they will. Much of the immediate “happiness” we get from yoga and meditation is fleeting and finite: a nice yoga butt, the ninja-like ability to do a handstand, 5 minutes not worrying about your finances while sitting in meditation. And as soon as we’ve finished class, we often find ourselves disappointed to be in the exact same place we were before class.

The problem occurs when we use yoga and meditation as self-improvement instruments. We say to ourselves, “If I could just improve my flexibility, forget my aching heart, and calm my busy mind, then I’d be happy.” But what if yoga and meditation aren’t for self-improvement at all? What if they are merely tools that help bring us to Awareness? And that’s it. These practices aren’t for self-improvement because the Self doesn’t need to be fixed.

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But beyond that, in a very practical way this Awareness also helps us to find happiness by clarifying to our conscious mind both what we really want in life as well as helping us recognize it when we’ve received it. In truth, Yoga and meditation simply help us to practice Awareness which in turn reveals the true mystery of happiness: that happiness is presence.


Secret No. 1: Don’t Wait for Happiness, You’re Already Perfect


First, and this is one of life’s biggest lessons, yoga and meditation make you happy by giving you the Awareness that everything simply exists and is perfect in that existence. Including you. You’re already perfect. This Awareness also reveals that happiness just exists, the same way everything else does.

One of the secrets to happiness is to realize that we can’t wait for the events in our lives to align perfectly for us to be happy. You gotta stop waiting for the world to make you happy cuz the world just doesn’t care. You gotta start making the decision to be happy despite the events and circumstances in your life because there will always be something other than yourself to blame for the fact that you’re unhappy. You’re in charge of your emotions. Nobody else is responsible for that job, not your partner or spouse, your kids, your job, your teachers, God—nobody but you.

The stone-cold truth is that the events in our lives are neither good nor bad. They just are. It’s the meaning we assign to those events that triggers the emotions we associate as good or bad. And guess who gets to choose the meaning of each event that happens. You do.

Awareness shows you that this moment is all there is. Stop waiting for happiness. There’s never a more perfect time to be happy as the eternal now. Awareness shows you that you gotta stop looking for happiness outside of yourself. You’ll never find it. It doesn’t exist. If you can’t find happiness inside, you’ll sure as shit never find it outside. That’s just Truth with a capital “T.”

One of the oldest vedic mantras, the Gayatri Mantra, thousands of years old, says that if I truly understood the fact that everything comes from Source, I’d see that I’m no different than the happiness I seek, I’d see that happiness is my essence. (Click below to listen to me chanting this mantra.)

I know what you’re thinking, “That’s shit! life’s hard.”

Sure, life’s hard. Yet through Awareness there’s a happiness that can’t be touched by life’s difficulty. Life is beautiful even in our hardest moments because our struggles represent our growth-evolution of learning to see ourselves as the perfect beings we already are. Our life’s struggles are just like those of a new butterfly struggling to break out of its chrysalis, to unfold into its own magnificence. A butterfly won’t survive without those struggles. And like the joy of the butterfly bouncing triumphantly on the wind, one day we too will celebrate every stitch of pain that birthed our unknown wings.

The late, great Leonard Cohen said it perfectly in his lyrics to the song Anthem:

Ring the bells that still can ring,

Forget your perfect offering.

There is a crack in everything,

And that’s how the light gets in.



Even the rhyme is broken yet these are perhaps some of the most succinct and poignant lyrics ever to remind us that we aren’t perfect despite our brokenness, but because of it.

In order to see our perfection through our brokenness, we must learn to be present when painful emotions arise, enough to feel them fully but without letting them define us. The practice is to realize that while we may experience emotions, what we are is fundamentally larger than emotions. And as much as you can be present with emotions, no matter which one, that presence actually serves to reveal the perfect, luminous thing inside of you which is larger than emotions, call it Awareness, Source, God, Spirit, your True Self— whatever. What you are is Awareness experiencing itself as an emotion, like an otherwise unknown being trying on a costume to understand itself. It’s by being present to your emotions through Awareness that reveals the happiness inside of you, a happiness that can’t be touched by events and circumstances

Being present with your emotions is opposite of pretending that emotions don’t exist, especially difficult emotions.They do exist. They just don’t define you. Plus, remember that every emotion is in flux, here one moment and gone the next. Just like everything else in this loving Universe, it’s part of an orbit. Emotions are part of the game of life, a part of the dream. Awareness is the part of you that’s having the dream, the part that never changes, despite any emotion that may visit. In fact, it’s things like emotions that help to reveal yourself as Awareness.

Yoga and meditation cultivate the Awareness that what we are is a spiritual being having a physical experience. We are coming to know ourselves as the Divine, a force that is fundamentally reduced to love. Divine love is in you and in everybody and everything else in the Universe. When you know that, when you feel that, come what may, nothing can touch you. You’ll even be able to experience things like heartache with love.

So while on the surface, yoga and meditation don’t make you happy, they do cultivate an Awareness which reveals some key secrets to happiness. Namely, it reveals that you are a perfect, Divine being, that you can only find happiness within, and that you’re in charge of defining the events that happen in your life. It’s the challenges in our life that help to illuminate our perfection. Awareness teaches you that what you are fundamentally is happiness (Gayatri Mantra) and that you can’t wait for life to align perfectly to “find” happiness. It also teaches us to be present to our emotions because they don’t define you but are valuable tools that help to illuminate the happiness that exists despite the events and subsequent emotions of life.



Secret No. 2: The Cosmic Taco—Place Your Order, Please.

Another way that Awareness leads us toward happiness is by giving us the clarity to know what we really want in life. Despite the fact that we are perfect just as we are, we are nonetheless hardwired to grow and to evolve. This means that it takes Awareness to realize when we’ve outgrown our current situation. Sometimes our growth is cued by a feeling of being disconnected or unsatisfied with what is. Often this is the Universe saying that we’ve outgrown our current condition and that we need to find something else, like a hermit crab whose outgrown their shell.

The dark side of being hardwired for growth means that for some of us, we are always looking for greener grasses. But with presence, we can hold the paradox that this moment is both perfect as it is and that the Universe is calling on us to grow and move away from it. With presence we also recognize that our current situation is the best and only platform for us to step into our next stage of evolution. In fact, failure to do so—both failure to acknowledge our current situation as well as our failure to grow into what’s calling us forward—ironically traps us in what fundamentally isn’t working for us, just like a prison cell. Failure to evolve from a place of grounded presence traps us in a vicious cycle of reliving our old lessons until we are ready to move on. It’ll be just like Groundhog Day but instead of Bill Murray, it’ll be us living out that drama.

Many of us mistake our itch for growth as unhappiness when it’s really just our own call for evolution knocking on our door. It’s like looking down and seeing that the pants that used to fit you just fine are now riding up around your shins. What’s worse is that most of us might feel the need to grow and look for something new but don’t even know what we are looking for. Here’s a perfect example…

Several years ago I needed to find an apartment. I had exactly one week to find a place and move out and I was really feeling the pressure. Despite the fact that I had looked at literally dozens of apartments I felt like my search was going nowhere. I realized that I was looking at apartments and not really knowing what I was looking for. After examining yet one more apartment that left me massively underwhelmed, I realized that I didn’t even know what I was looking for. So, I went home and wrote down precisely what I wanted, about 15 different criteria, everything down to which neighborhood, the price, what kind of amenities—even the architectural style and age of the building. The very next day, I looked at yet another apartment. It didn’t meet the majority of those criteria. That’s because it met ALL of them— Every. Damn. Detail. I went on to spend some very happy years in that apartment.

Many different yoga and meditation traditions say that consciousness precedes form. It was like the Universe was just waiting for me to put in my order, like the invisible person that lives in the speaker box at the drive-thru, happy to serve me as soon as I made up my mind and tell it what I want.

I believe that the Universe is constantly waiting to give us what we want and like any good teacher, if we’re not asking, it’s not giving. Asking for what we want, visualizing it in a way that is current, possible, and positive, is a way that alerts the Universe that we are ready to receive what the Universe has been waiting to offer all along.

I told this story to a good friend and she told me, “You could probably ask the Cosmos for a taco and open up your hand and, boom, a taco would drop into your hands.” Thus a new term was born, “The Cosmic Taco.” I now use this term to refer to telling the Universe exactly what you want. “Um, yeah, could I please get a beautiful place to live, in France, along with my adorable family, a great job that I love that makes me feel loved, fulfilled, and useful? Oh, and could I get that with avocado and hot sauce? Thanks!”

What do you want on your Cosmic Taco? Make a list. Be specific.

Yoga Nidra

Telling the Universe what you want on your Cosmic Taco is useful for so many reasons, but specifically it clarifies to both your thinking mind and simultaneously to Universal Consciousness what you want so it can begin to dish it out. Like I said, most of us are walking around looking for something other than what we have and we don’t even know what it is we are looking for.

For many of us it’s a matter of what we feel we are worthy of. Remember, you’re the Divine having a human experience. It’s your birthright to have EVERYTHING. Don’t be afraid to ask for exactly what you want. You more than deserve it.

As you get clear with what you want, I promise that you’ll start to notice those thing coming to you from many directions. Don’t be surprised if you start to be bombarded by clues, synergies, and opportunities. Even the songs on the radio will start to get on board to somehow sing to what’s coming through for you. Recently I had a powerful experience where I was feeling overwhelmed by the simple perfection of the lyric, “All you need is love,” and a fucking beetle came and literally landed on my hand. “Yeah, Universe, I know it’s the Beatles.”

Has something like that ever happened to you? Probably. Why is that? It think it’s because the Universe operates in an order and once you get onboard with a trajectory, you’ll see how that ordered thing begins to play out. Chances are, these clues for what you wanted were passing you all along but since you had such a dizzying array of options in front of you, each one just as viable as the next, you were simply blinded by all the myriad options to notice them.

One of the things I’ve learned from Yoga Nidra, the fascinating and transformative type of meditation I’m so passionate about, is that the past and future are abstract concepts and the eternal part of us, the one that’s connected to Universal Consciousness, only exists in the now and exists in a universe of YES—always has, always will—so you have to talk to it in ways that is current and positive. It helps to put yourself on your pathway of growth by creating mantras, aphorisms, or prayers that make a positive statement of truth that will help you grow in that direction, like a pole lashed to a tree to help it grow straight. Don’t speak to your perceived lack or the incompleteness, speak to your inevitable wholeness, to what is real and true in the moment and what is leading you to the next thing layer of wholeness. I heard Judith Lasater once say, “What is worrying but praying for what you don’t want.” Pray for what you do want.

Here’s are two examples for a positive mantras that speak to the power of the moment:

“I’m currently on my road to _____________,”

“Inside, I already have everything I need for____________.”

Both of these examples are realistic, positive, and happening in the moment. Both reflect what my therapist has been telling me for years, “Reach for the stars and keep your feet planted on the ground.” Both are mantras that communicate to the Universe what we want and positions it to help us manifest those things.

Awareness therefore brings us happiness by helping us realize that despite being perfect beings living in a perfect moment, we are nonetheless hardwired to grow. It helps us to know when we need to move on, it gives us the clarity to know what we are looking for, and it does so grounded in the positive reality of what is.

David Whyte is a rockstar in my world. Check out what he says about growing into what we feel we are worthy of in this world.

The True Love

The True Love

There is a faith in loving fiercely
the one who is rightfully yours,
especially if you have
waited years and especially
if part of you never believed
you could deserve this
loved and beckoning hand
held out to you this way.

I am thinking of faith now
and the testaments of loneliness
and what we feel we are
worthy of in this world.

Years ago in the Hebrides,
I remember an old man
who walked every morning
on the grey stones
to the shore of baying seals,
who would press his hat
to his chest in the blustering
salt wind and say his prayer
to the turbulent Jesus
hidden in the water,

and I think of the story
of the storm and everyone
waking and seeing
the distant
yet familiar figure
far across the water
calling to them

and how we are all
preparing for that
abrupt waking,
and that calling,
and that moment
we have to say yes,
except it will
not come so grandly
so Biblically
but more subtly
and intimately in the face
of the one you know
you have to love

so that when
we finally step out of the boat
toward them, we find
everything holds
us, and everything confirms
our courage, and if you wanted
to drown you could,
but you don't
because finally
after all this struggle
and all these years
you simply don't want to
any more
you've simply had enough
of drowning
and you want to live and you
want to love and you will
walk across any territory
and any darkness
however fluid and however
dangerous to take the
one hand you know
belongs in yours.

~David Whyte


I love this because your True Love could be your partner/spouse, kids, job, beliefs, or anything.

What is YOUR True Love?

Secret No. 3: What We Need is Here

Not only must we be clear with what we want, but we gotta learn to recognize it when it comes. I think that between knowing what you want and recognizing it when it’s come, the later is the more difficult and will lead us more quickly to enduring happiness. We cant get so driven to see over the next horizon that we fail to recognize that what we wanted all along is actually lying at our feet. It’s the story of the hero’s journey.

Yoga Nidra

Presence opens our eyes to see what is here and what is real. It teaches us that now is a perfect moment, despite whatever’s happening, and that there will never be a better moment than now. Presence shows you that what you want is here. What you want is not the thing over the next horizon, what you want is being here. Being here is being home. Check out what

I love poets because they have to be so present in order to articulate the moment that’s happening right before them. Check out this showstopper by Wendell Berry:

What We Need Is Here

Geese appear high over us,

pass, and the sky closes. Abandon,

as in love or sleep, holds

them to their way, clear

in the ancient faith: what we need

is here. And we pray, not

for new earth or heaven, but to be

quiet in heart, and in eye,

clear. What we need is here.


~Wendell Berry

Yoga Nidra


I invented a magic mantra for happiness that helps me to see that what I need is here. It helps me to realize that this moment is as perfect as any other can be. That mantra is, “This is EXACTLY what I want to be doing in this moment.” I repeat this phrase even and especially if it feels like what I’m doing in this moment is pretty mundane or average because each time I do, it opens my eyes to the perfection of the moment. The perfect moment is defined by what’s happening but rather how I’m choosing to pay attention. Repeating this mantra instantly locks me into presence and takes me out of perpetual search mode. It helps me to lift my head, open my eyes and all the rest of my senses. As I’m writing this, a nice glass of Bordeaux next to me—fruity and bold—and some dark chocolate with sea salt, I feel myself swinging in the flow of this writing, the keys popping rhythmically under my fingers, and I acknowledge that, THIS is EXACTLY what I want to be doing IN. THIS. MOMENT. This is what I want. I can’t tell you how immensely satisfying it is to acknowledge that. This phrase helps to realize that I’m not waiting for the perfect moment, I’m watching it unfold before me.

And as I clarify what I want with presence, I realize that if I’m on my road to higher growth and I’m actively doing what it takes to move me along my path, then this is the only place I can be and therefore exactly where I want to be. So, yeah here is where I need to be and is the essential ground leading me to my next step forward on my path for growth and discovery. This is the harder lesson.

The last poem I want to share, a poem that has become a beloved friend to me, one which express this vital truth of presence, written by one of my heros—the woman, the wonder, the legend, drum roll please — Mary Oliver!

Mindful


Everyday

I see or hear

something

that more or less

kills me

with delight,

that leaves me

like a needle

in the haystack

Yoga Nidra

of light.

It was what I was born for —

to look, to listen,

to lose myself

inside this soft world —

to instruct myself

over and over

in joy,

and acclamation.

Nor am I talking

about the exceptional,

the fearful, the dreadful,

the very extravagant —

but of the ordinary,

the common, the very drab,

the daily presentations.

Oh, good scholar,

I say to myself,

how can you help

but grow wise

with such teachings

as these —

the untrimmable light

of the world,

the ocean’s shine,

the prayers that are made

out of grass?

~Mary Oliver


I love this poem because it points to presence as the key to happiness, to satisfaction. And that without presence, we will never realize it when what we are searching for has arrived at our feet.

It’s my prayer that you find yourself in the Awareness that you are perfect just the way you are. May you have astounding clarity about what you want in life. And may you find yourself reading this and repeating the magic mantra for happiness, “This is exactly what I want to be doing in this moment.”

Thank you for sharing this moment with me.

Going deeper:

  • Remember that you’re perfect the way you are

  • Put in your order for your cosmic taco, make a detailed list of what you want your life to be

  • Regularly practice the magic mantra for happiness, “This is exactly what I want to be doing in this moment,” no matter what you’re doing in that moment.

Please share this with someone. Comment below about what you feel are YOUR secrets to happiness.


Guided Meditations for Sleep

Yoga Nidra: Yoga for Anxiety

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Online Yoga Nidra Meditation

Yoga Nidra is a relaxing form of guided meditation that helps you feel amazing. Better than amazing, Yoga Nidra helps you feel like your True Self, the qualities of which can only be described as invincible, expansive, and limitless-calm. Yoga Nidra helps us to see correctly again, in part by using things like emotions, even anxiety, as catalysts to experience our True Selves. We’re hardwired to feel this way all the time, except somehow we all allow things like thoughts, sensations, and emotions to cloud our vision of our True Self. For anyone who is interested in learning to become a certified Yoga Nidra teacher, please read to the end.

To catch the mind and keep it still,

Is no small problem for my porous will;

As many times as I shut it down,
Unceasing thoughts on me rebound

In youth I tried through alcohol,
To ease my stress and cool my gall;
In later years I turned to grass
The effects were good – but did not last.

At last with fading hopes I turned,
To Eastern paths, and my soul yearned
To scale the mystic heights of bliss.
Alas, no easy method this.

And now with age and turmoil weary,
All that’s left me is this query;
Will heart break or mind implode,
Before my vrittis do nirode.
— Swami Shankarananda

Yoga is defined in the Yoga Sutras as the cessation of the fluctuations of the mind, or to come into complete stillness and unperturbed by disruptions of thoughts, sensations, and emotions. Nidra is a state of mind. It’s that interesting liminal, hypnagogic state between waking and dreaming consciousness. Yoga Nidra, therefore is the practice of coming into the Awareness of our True Self through achieving this Nidra state in deep relaxation.

What is Yoga Nidra?

Yoga Nidra is a deep form of self-discovery, like meditation, where you experience your utmost nature of being. It's a very relaxing way of attuning your awareness to all things. Indeed it is the practice of experiencing yourself as Awareness itself.

Yoga Nidra does this by training us to relax and practice deep awareness. In fact, it helps us actually experience ourselves as Awareness itself. According to Yoga Nidra philosophy, our True Nature is Awareness. We feel into our True Nature by learning to relax and simply observe whatever presents itself to us at the moment, be that a thought, a sound, or an emotion or anything else. When you learn to merely observe something rather than react to it, you gain a universal perspective about it and it doesn’t have the power to control you because you’re not identified as it. This is particularly useful for emotions.


Yoga Nidra For Anxiety

Modern psychology helps us to understand how this works, particularly vis-à-vis our emotions. In the late 1950's, Joseph Wolpe, a leading behavior therapist at Stanford University, added to Pavlov's previous ground-breaking work on conditioning by helping those with anxiety using counter-conditioning. Wolpe demonstrated that the symptoms of anxiety were greatly reduced or eradicated when things that would otherwise stress people were presented systematically, bit by bit and paired with a relaxation response.* He showed that anxiety and relaxation cannot be present simultaneously. Therefore, if you can achieve deep relaxation and practice Awareness, then slowly and gradually present to your Awareness what triggers your emotions, you you experience yourself and identify as Awareness that is momentarily experiencing emotion, not emotion itself.

Ego vs. True Self

In our quest to understand ourselves, we tend to identify with anything that seems real. To our rational consciousness, what we can feel, see, smell, etc. seems real. However, all these things are inevitably locked in the realm of the changeable, the Ego. A misapprehension of what I think I am, a definition I learned from Eckhart Tolle in his book A New Earth


Anything you identify with tends to perpetuate. After all, we are hardwired to stay alive and if in someway we misunderstand our being as an emotion, even though it may not be our favorite emotion, we keep wrapping it around ourselves metaphorically, subconsciously afraid to let it go for fear that we will no longer exist without it.

But Yoga Nidra helps you experience and identify as Awareness that is momentarily experiencing emotion, not emotion itself. Then when emotion arises, it doesn’t have the power to overtake you. You see it as just one of the other things in the Universe that has an orbit.

It’s just like everything else in this Universe, making a drive-by along its own orbit.

I invite you to experience your own True Being with Yoga Nidra. I created a free learning module that uses Yoga Nidra to help you with stress. I loved putting it together and I hope it helps if you are working with anxiety.

Online Yoga Nidra Teacher Training

If you are interested in learning how to lead yourself and others through this transformational practice, please consider registering for my Online Yoga Nidra Teacher Training program. By the end of this training you’ll be prepared to teach Yoga Nidra to help countless students discover their True Selves and see beyond momentary emotions like stress and anxiety.

If you know someone who is working with stress or anxiety or who is interested in Yoga Nidra, please forward this. Thank you!


* Wolpe, J. (1958). Psychotherapy by reciprocal inhibition. Stanford. Stanford University Press.

Guided meditation for relaxation

Yoga Nidra Meditation: Does Your Inner 3-Year-Old Need to Go Nighty Night?

Who else can relate to the this . . .

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My 3-year-old has two settings— turbo and asleep.

One evening last summer, he was spraying the driveway with the hose. When we told him that he had to stop spraying because it was his bedtime, he became absolutely undone with emotion. He erupted into screams of anger, morphed into an inconsolable sadness, then began desperate pleading, which then cycled back to anger, more sadness, (this time accompanied with a slumped-over super-sad walk) and more pleading . . . This went on for several minutes making a performance that could have earned him a Tony Award.

I remember standing there unphased, merely watching this drama play out. As the adult with a grander perspective, not only did I not have to get pulled into his emotion, but my heart opened up to him. I could see this situation for what it was: he’s a 3-year-old ball of raw emotion. I understood that because it was his bedtime, he was very tired and crankiness gets amplified when you’re tired. I also had the perspective that his whole world at that moment was spraying the driveway and now his world had ended because of something as arbitrary as bedtime. But thanks to my adult perspective, I could simply observe his tantrum without having an opinion about it.

Minutes later, my son was sleeping peacefully in his bed.

Photo https://o-meditation.com/2017/02/24/awareness-j-krishnamurti/

Photo https://o-meditation.com/2017/02/24/awareness-j-krishnamurti/

Krishnamurti, one of the preeminent yoga minds of the last century, said it best when he proffered that “The highest form of intelligence is observation without assessment.” He’s saying that our highest Self is one that can merely witness something and not react to it.

“Yeah, that’s great when you’re observing your kid throw a fit, but how to you learn to not have an opinion about your own serious adult emotions like stress, worry, or anxiety?” The answer is perhaps easier than you think: observation through relaxation.

I know what you’re thinking and I’m not minimizing these serious emotions. It’s like when you’re worked up into a lather over something and someone rather gratuitously says, “Hey, just relax.” And how often do you then pause, drink in that sage advice, and emerge smiling from immediate relief? Never, because it’s stupid, completely unhelpful, advice.

Like Einstein said, “No problem can ever be solved by the same level of consciousness that created it.” You’ve got to change your state to make any kind of progress forward on a problem.

If you’ve read my blog or emails for long you know how much I love the relaxing from of guided meditation called Yoga Nidra. I Love Yoga Nidra because it brilliantly changes your state of consciousness by using relaxation and observation to arrive at your highest intelligence, or True Self. Your True self is like the adult part of you with the grand perspective that can simply observe without yielding to the 3-year-old part of you with all it’s of its emotions, reactions, and drama.

In fact, relaxation isn’t just merely the byproduct of Yoga Nidra. It’s the special sauce that performs the impossible. Not only can you learn to witness emotions rather than getting sucked in by them, but with Yoga Nidra you also learn that it’s the emotions themselves which are the catalyst that bring you to experience your True Self, that place of boundless equanimity, empowerment, and perspective. Through relaxation, Yoga Nidra changes your consciousness and illuminates your adult perspective which sees everything in your life for what it is: information.

Modern psychology supports this idea of relaxation being the game-changer for state change and stress reduction. Important discoveries during the last century have shown that a person cannot feel both stress and relaxation simultaneously. Therefore, in a state of deep relaxation like in Yoga Nidra, one might skillfully and gradually begin to introduce stressors like emotions into your awareness, but because you’re deeply relaxed, you’ll find that you can merely observe the emotions or stressors and see them as information. You counter-condition against stress and soon begin to identify as the all-seeing calm adult rather than the myopic tantrumy 3-year-old.

This is huge!

What’s more, simply observing an emotion without reacting to it can often break the insidious, downward-spiral that emotions can sometimes inflict on our psyche. In just a few minutes of a skillfully-guided Yoga Nidra practice, you may begin to experience your own “highest intelligence” and begin a new relationship with your emotions.

Simply put, when you practice Yoga Nidra, you put your inner 3-year-old to bed. Maybe that’s why everyone falls asleep during Yoga Nidra. Don’t worry, it still works even when you sleep, cuz the part of you that I’m speaking to is something beyond your rational mind and is always paying attention.

Click the button below to listen to this free Yoga Nidra practice I created called Awakening Through Body and Emotions. It’s designed to help you become very relaxed in your body before leading you through some fairly benign emotions to help you see past emotions and experience your True Self. It’s about 30 minutes long and I’d love to hear back from you about your experience. I also set this to some original chill music: me playing the clarinet with a drone in the background. I hope you like it.

Also, if this topic of using relaxation and observation to rejigger your relationship to emotions resonates with you, this is what my entire 6-week Yoga Nidra series will be about starting THIS Sunday at 9 am MST. This is a virtual Yoga Nidra series (live and online) where we will be exploring the theme, The Magic of Maya: Working Through Illusion, to learn to access the inner adult inside of you for your own change of consciousness and to experience your own boundless equanimity and learn to witness things like emotions. Please join me!

Each session will be recorded and transcribed so if the time doesn’t work for you, you can always catch the session at a time that works for you. Check out the details below

Online Yoga Nidra Teacher Training

By the end of this course you’ll be ready to teach Yoga Nidra!

6-Week Virtual Yoga Nidra Series

January 20–February 24